Archive for the blackened death metal Category

Book Review: Confessions of a Heretic by Adam Nergal Darski, et. al.

Posted in black metal, blackened death metal, books, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 26, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

I actually got Nergal’s biography, Confessions of a Heretic, last year when it first came out but I didn’t finish it. So, when I planned to see Behemoth again in April, I decided to reread it in the spirit of things. The book centers on Nergal, of course, and is very comprehensive; while Behemoth plays a large role in it, the focus is always on Nergal and his relationship to the band, and he always speaks from his own perspective instead of speaking for the other guys as well.

Confessions of a Heretic covers the entirety of Nergal’s life up until roughly the release of The Satanist and the book. Nergal candidly recalls his childhood (accompanied by an adorable picture of him as a baby), the early years of Behemoth and its growth into well, a behemoth, his flirtation with super-stardom and relationship with Polish pop diva Doda, and his battle with the cancer that tried, and failed, to take him down. Throughout this review I keep finding myself saying “candid,” and that’s really the best word for it, I think; Nergal is always straightforward, always passionate, and never flinching throughout the entire book. His worldview is expansive enough to allow for Behemoth to grow into one of the biggest extreme metal bands in the world and to allow him to socialize outside of his typical circle without ever feeling as though he has compromised his position. Nergal vehemently states at several points that he keeps “one foot in the underground,” that he will never forget where he came from, and that Behemoth will always maintain their ethos.

While the entirety of the book is fascinating, there were a few parts that excited me in particular. First of all, I was very interested to read about Nergal’s relationship with his native Poland. It’s a rocky one, unsurprisingly; lots of people, myself included, have deep resentment for the places from whence they came, especially if they never were made to feel as though they belonged there. However, despite his frustration and stubborn belief that Poland could be so much more than it is, Nergal has remained in his home country, deciding not to follow his older brother’s footsteps and go somewhere else. “The band is located in Poland,” he says, then later, “Poland is my home” (103).

Another part of the book that I found really interesting was Nergal’s decision to commit apostasy (Chapter 12). Of course, as the interviewers argue, there was never any real question as to whether Nergal was a good practicing Catholic, but he was determined, despite multiple attempts at dissuasion from the priest who had to approve it, to formally break from the Church. Apostasy has always been interesting to me as a non-Catholic. I think it must be freeing to have it formally done; a priest says “Ok. You’re not part of the Church anymore,” and it’s a formal thing rather than saying “I no longer believe this” and then panicking for the next decade of your life, not that I have experience with that. Ahem. But this chapter was really intriguing to me, because, as it turns out, it’s not that easy to commit apostasy, and I found Nergal’s determination to do so, anyway, even if it was just symbolic, inspiring.

I also found it interesting to learn that Nergal has legally changed his name to Adam Nergal Darski (76), and his reasoning behind doing so. Everyone, it seems, calls him Nergal or Ner anyway, with the exception of his parents, and he decided to change his name legally. “I became Adam when I was christened. That’s what they called me without asking for my opinion. I became Nergal because I wanted to. I chose that name knowingly and consciously,” he says, citing a change of name as another break from his christening (76). I find this really interesting in light of reading Richard Cavendish’s book The Black Arts (I have all kinds of opinions on this thing that I won’t go into here) and the idea of true names and the power of names, and the efforts magicians go to in order to protect their true names, etc. It’s not entirely the same, of course, but at the heart of it, it is- names have power, and being able to make a conscious choice about what yours will be is important.

Other fun things in Confessions include stories of Nergal’s run-ins with the paparazzi (he is good at avoiding them; think action-movie-car-chases), his relationships with women and how they have changed over the years (he is very aware of his good and bad qualities, and it’s cool to hear him so openly discuss them), and his statement that he clearly knows nothing about wine since he likes whites, which, as a devoted red-wine-drinker, I agree with. Also, the infamous Kentucky Bible-tearing incident is covered, so you get Nergal’s perspective on that as well.

In a more general sense, Confessions was translated from Polish into English, and at times the language feels a little stiff, which tends to happen in translation. By no means is it distracting, and the prose is smooth, but there are times in the book when I really wish I could read Polish, because I feel almost certain that there are words and images that cannot be conveyed in English.

The format of the book is also unconventional in that it is entirely question and answer. Confessions is written in an interview format, with Nergal’s friends Krzysztof Azarewicz and Piotr Weltrowski asking the questions and Nergal providing answers. What’s really cool is that Azarewicz and Weltrowski have known Nergal for a long time, and so they aren’t afraid to ask him personal questions and rile him a bit, and you get the feeling that they are still friends after the fact. I think this is why the whole book feels very candid, like a discussion amongst friends, which makes it overall very refreshing. The English version also contains a well-written and thoughtful forward by Randy Blythe of Lamb of God.

In terms of the physical object itself, the book is nice. It has one of those covers that will appeal to weirdos like me who really like textures, and has cool photo pages and artwork (the artwork looks a lot like woodcuts from the kinds of things I study). My only complaint as a book nerd is that it’s a big book and the pages are glued into the spine, so I don’t think it will enjoy a super long shelf-life without some repairs.

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The cover, complete with bonus cat feets.

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Overall, I really enjoyed Nergal’s book. As I said, at times it felt a little stiff, but I think that was because of the translation. It was really fascinating to hear about so many aspects of Nergal’s life, and to see how his pride, his stubbornness, and sheer force of will have carried him through so many trials. That being said, Nergal also remains humble in regards to what he does, continually placing his band above himself, showing a willingness to understand and try to overcome his failings, and in how grateful he is simply to be alive. I’ll leave you with this quotation, because I think it’s important, from when the Azarewicz and Weltrowski asked Nergal what he thought of Satyricon opening the skiing world championships and Gaahl working in the fashion world (134): “Black metal, first and foremost, means individualism. It also promotes freedom without limitations.”

So there you have it, from Nergal himself. You do you, no matter what, and do it as hard as you can. Black metal is, ultimately, about no compromise.

-H

Concert: Behemoth/Myrkur (4/30, Mill City Nights, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, atmospheric black metal, blackened death metal, denmark, doom metal, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, poland, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

When I heard that Behemoth was planning a tour in which they were going to play The Satanist top to bottom, I knew I had to go. I absolutely love that album, and Behemoth has yet to disappoint at a live gig. (Seriously. They have one of the best stage shows ever.) The fact that this was happening on Walpurgisnacht was, well, an added bonus. Who would pass that up?

Anyhow, I had somehow managed to forget that Myrkur was opening until a couple of days before the show. I reviewed her EP over at Burning Fist when it first came out and was really impressed with it, and just as equally dismayed by the sheer amount of hate that she got. The full-length album, M, was far less interesting to me (I never ended up getting it and I don’t really feel an aching need to), and I kind of lost track of her beyond vaguely jumping into conversations on the internet on occasion to slap people on wrist for being douchy. (Seriously. There are legitimate reasons why people are upset over Myrkur, and I understand those. But there are a lot of meatheads out there who think girls have no place in metal, and those people… can fuck off and die. But this is a concert review and that is a post for another day.)

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Myrkur

Myrkur’s live performance went, for me, much like the records did. I really liked the stuff she did from the EP, and the rest I thought was a little repetitive. However, I was really impressed to see her play keyboards and guitar both, and I was glad that she got such a positive reception from the crowd. A friend of mine mentioned that parts of her set sounded a lot like doom, and I found myself agreeing with that assessment. She ended the set with a cover of Bathory’s “Song to Hall Up High,” though, and I, uh, may have gotten something in my eye…

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I was happy that she played some instruments herself

Then, after a fairly lengthy pause, Behemoth took the stage. Behemoth is consistently good as a live act, but tonight they pulled out ALL the stops. In terms of just the stage show, Behemoth hauled out video screens for this one and showed video clips throughout the set, including the super creepy video for “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel.” (If they have done this in previous times that I have seen them, I don’t recall it.) Nergal also carried out one of those swingy-ball-o-incense-thingies that they use at Mass at one point (shut up; I’m not Catholic, I don’t know what it’s called). There was also a mock Communion, and the fans in the front of the stage got to eat up a bunch of Communion crackers. Also, Orion spit blood all over a crucifix he was holding upside down at the end of “Amen.” It was more live blasphemy than you could shake a stick at, along with a mosh pit that was positively churning the entire time.

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Fire: Never not a great idea

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Swingy-ball-‘o’-incense-thingy

Of course, Behemoth played The Satanist all the way through, ending with “O Father, O Satan, O Sun” and coming out for the last part with the horns on like they do. (So cool.) They played a handful of other songs afterwards, however, including “At the Left Hand ov God,” “Slaves Shall Serve,” “Antichristian Phenomenon,” and “Conquer All.” It was a fantastically fun show, and my doom metal buddy was even impressed despite Behemoth not being his typical thing.

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Inferno destroying everything. Seriously. He is one of my favorite drummers

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Happy Walpurgisnacht from Behemoth \m/

I actually did come away with some merch for this one. It had been a long time since I had a Behemoth shirt, and I couldn’t turn down this one with the Virgin Mary on it. It also occurred to me that I didn’t have a Behemoth patch for the jacket, which seemed wrong for someone who has now seen them four times, so I got one of those as well. I also picked up Myrkur’s EP; I had had a digital copy of it before from when I reviewed the album, but when my iPod corrupted in the fall and ate all my files I lost it.

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“Put me on the blog, mom!” Demanding Cat is demanding. (I know you are jealous of my kvlt Hello Kitty blanket) 

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The text on the patch that you can’t read very well says “The Satanist”

April has been absolutely nuts with shows just about twice a week, and now I feel like we’re about to hit a massive dry spell (there’s some really cool stuff coming up this summer, like Swans (!) and The Body, but it’s more spread out). However, Behemoth on Walpurgisnacht is a pretty good way to end a busy April, and very fortifying for the end of the semester that I’ll be fighting through the next couple of weeks.

I’ll be back next week; I’m almost done with Nergal’s biography, so I’m planning on writing on that, as well as the new Rotting Christ (I’m still on my first listen, but my rash impulse is to say this is even better than the last, which I loved), and I still need to write that post about why you all are so wrong about Reinkaos. (I’d put a winky emoji but I feel like that’s inappropriate.)

Until then…

-Hagalaz

Gratuitous Birthday Playlist 2014

Posted in 2014, black metal, blackened death metal, death metal, doom, local, mayhem, musings, stoner metal, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

Well. This is late, and it’s late because I was busy being the birthday girl, something I don’t get to do very often because for some reason I’m always out of town on my birthday. But this year I wasn’t, and I spent a glorious evening with A at the HammerHeart Brewery followed by more hangs the next day with coworkers. And then I’ve been in Chicago, seeing Behexen (!) and Sargeist (!), which I will rave about soon enough.
However, here it is. My gratuitous birthday playlist for 2014!

***

1. Behemoth- O Father, O Satan, O Sun

I really love Behemoth’s new album, and I’m going to be working up a review for it soon. Suffice it to say for now that this song hits me right in the feels.

2. Iron Maiden- The Evil That Men Do

I kind of skipped Iron Maiden, having plummeted face first into symphonic black metal (I grew up on classical music. It was a natural progression). However, countless hours of listening to Maiden at DJ night over the past year has shown me the error of my ways, and I’m devouring this stuff like candy lately.

3. Behexen- Death’s Black Light

Behexen is on here because holy crap I got to see them the other night. That’s nuts. I never thought that would happen. They played this song too…

4. Sargeist- Let the Devil In

Also Sargeist. In terms of things I never thought I’d see live, they rank slightly higher than Behexen.

5. Arckanum- Þjóbaugvittr

I’ve been listening to a lot of Arckanum lately too. I love how meditative it is- the music is atmospheric and repetitive, but the subtleties in the melodies ensure that it never gets boring. Plus, Shamaatae is one of the most interesting figures in black metal to me, and I feel like Arckanum often gets overlooked.

6. Mayhem- Watchers

Y’all know already about me and Mayhem. Just like any long-time fan, I held my breath until I heard their new album, and was pleased to find that I loved it. Especially this song. Those riffs.

7. King Diamond- A Mansion in Darkness

Having secured my King Diamond ticket for St. Louis (!!!), I have also been listening to a lot of his solo work recently. I know Mercyful Fate much better, and I decided that it was nigh time I made myself more familiar with the King himself. This is probably my favorite track on Abigail– I love haunted houses.

8. Sleep- Dragonaut

My all-time favorite Sleep song. Dat bass. Dat doom.

9. Teitanblood- Silence of the Great Martyrs

We’re only halfway through, so I have yet to know for sure, but Teitanblood’s new one, Death, just might be my favorite album this year.

10. House of Atreus- Bastards on the Hillside

I’ve also been jamming out a lot to local legends (and good friends of mine) House of Atreus. Their new EP is brilliant stuff, and I have a review lying around here somewhere that I need to get edited…

11. Dissection- Dark Mother Divine

Shut up. I like this album.

***
So that’s it. My birfday playlist for THIS year. Watch this space- like I said, I’m in the editing stages of my House of Atreus review, and about to start on one for the new Behemoth. I got bit by the black metal bug BAD this past weekend, so I’m probably going to be churning out stuff more frequently again (also I will try to get up a review for the shows I saw in Chi-Town last week).
Ave!
-Hagalaz

Review: Teitanblood- Death

Posted in 2014, black metal, blackened death metal, death metal, Reviews, satan, spain, underground with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

It’s no surprise, I’m sure, that I was pretty much bouncing off the walls in anticipation of the new Teitanblood album. I have liked them ever since I stumbled across them… somewhere. I think it may have been the fact that they are on Noevdia, a label that has yet to let me down. I was intrigued to see what this one would sound like, since Seven Chalices is quite unlike anything else I’ve ever heard, and I positively loved Woven Black Arteries (I gave it a spot on my best of list in 2012. And it only has two tracks!).
Needless to say, probably, I wasn’t disappointed. I’m not making any official claims yet because there have been some other stunning albums come out this year already (looking at you, Mr. Warrior), but Death truly might be my favorite album of the year so far. Death is an incredible onslaught of gnarly, blackened, churning noise. It reminds me much more of Teitanblood’s later stuff like Woven Black Arteries and Purging Tongues than Seven Chalices, and I actually like that better (note, I like Seven Chalices, it’s just that it’s one of those I’m still trying to wrap my head around. It is still pretty baffling to me, and I do not think that is a bad thing). The first track, “Anteinfierno,” sets the stage for this blistering masterpiece, providing a near five minutes of thundering chaos.

Although Teitanblood is as chaotic and as noisy as always, Death nevertheless incorporates a substantial amount of structure. For all its unrestrained clamor, it nevertheless periodically shifts back to a riff that you can bang your head to for a bit, allowing for you to become a little grounded before being flung back into the madness. “Sleeping Throats of the Antichrist,” one of my favorite tracks on the album, showcases this really well. The riff at 9:15 is a good example of this returning to some kind of sane footing in an otherwise slippery song. It also provides a good example of one of my favorite parts of Death, which is the mixing.

Teitanblood has done… something… with the mix on this album. I don’t know what it is, entirely, but the low end occasionally drops out and sounds like it was recorded in some kind of chasm. The aforementioned riff is a prime example of this, and it’s always a puzzling and welcome addition when those parts drop in. “Cadaver Synod” also utilizes this type of mixing. Another cool aspect of the production on Death is the ambient noise that constantly permeates the album. While the production on Death is certainly not as low fi as that on Seven Chalices, it retains a noisy, white noise background that makes it feel as though there is constant movement. Between the dull roar in the background and the squeals of the guitars, it’s difficult to tell if Death has as many chanted vocals as I think I hear, or if that’s all just a part of the cacophony. Considering that I love my noisy black metal, I think that is awesome.

Perhaps the only time that the roar ceases is in the final track, appropriately titled “Silence of the Great Martyrs.” In typical bewildering fashion, the track has a lengthy pause halfway through, followed by eerie guitar noise, chimes, and chants that take you through to the records end. This makes for an especially fun experience if you are, say, listening to the album in your car, and you end with chimes and begin again with “Anteinfierno,” which is the equivalent of getting your face smashed with a brick in a good way.

Because I’m a dweeb, I bought Death on both CD and vinyl, and it sounds lovely on both. In regards to the vinyl, the aforementioned low-end parts sound reedier and feel like they almost have a buzz to them. Also, the sound on the vinyl is even fuller than on the CD, inasmuch as that is possible (really, the production on this thing is insane. I love it).

I just included pictures of the vinyl because it's so much bigger.

I just included pictures of the vinyl because it’s so much bigger. The CD has exactly the same stuff.

And it's a double LP, because of course it is. Three of the tracks clock in at well over 10 minutes.

And it’s a double LP, because of course it is. Three of the tracks clock in at well over 10 minutes.

One thing that was a letdown for me as far as Death is concerned is the album art. Having been completely spoiled by all the awesome artwork on Seven Chalices, I was expecting a like amount of creepy, Satanic sketches in the new album. There’s very little to the liner notes at all, however, other than the lyrics and some arcane symbols. That, and the picture of the band, which reminds you that, yes, that is two dudes making all that racket, just in case you forgot.

This is all we get.

This is what we get.

The gentlemen responsible.

The gentlemen responsible.

Unfortunately, none of this stuff this time around.

Unfortunately, none of this stuff this time around.

When I get a new album, I usually leave it in my car stereo for about a week until I switch it up again. Death sat in my car for 2.5 weeks when I first got it, and I still am unable to get enough of it. One of the reasons why I love my Noevdia bands so freaking much is that they are so internally complicated. Every single time I listen to Death I hear something new- it’s a noisy treasure trove of chaos, and just like the esoteric texts Teitanblood emulates, Death is going to require some serious study to truly grasp its secrets. 5/5 Lucifer sigils from me.

Hagalaz’ Favorite Tracks: Oh, I dunno. Pretty much ALL OF IT.

Ave. H.

For the Love of Live Music, Consider Signing This Petition

Posted in black metal, blackened death metal, blackened doom, concerts, crossover thrash, crust, death metal, doom, DSBM, folk metal, grindcore, hardcore, local, musings, post-black metal, prog metal, psychedelic rock, punk, retro occult rock, sludge metal, stoner metal, thrash, traditional heavy metal, true norwegian black metal, underground, USBM, viking metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

This petition came to my attention the other day via a friend on Facebook, and I wanted to post it here so that you could sign it if you haven’t. The Canadian government apparently wants to drastically increase the amount of money that musicians have to pay to tour there, which will not only cut down on the amount of live music that Canadians will get to see, but will also be very harmful to small venues and businesses. I don’t think I need to go far towards explaining that for metal bands other than, say, Metallica and their ilk, this legislation is very bad news- any smaller metal bands will be right out of the running for getting to tour Canada. As I am now living in a routine stop on the way to Winnipeg, I can assure you, Canadian metal fans, you don’t want this thing to pass. Marduk and Inquisition are just a couple of bands in the past year that have come up your way. And of course, that is not to mention the smaller bands trying to get off the ground; False just played in Canada, for instance. This cost increase passes and they won’t be able to again.

So please consider adding your signature to the petition if you haven’t already. I did, and I hate signing up for things on the internet. And tell your friends, too, because this is an issue that affects ALL music genres.

Concert: Maledicere/Atrum Inritus/Sacrificial Massacre/Fin/House of Atreus (7/27, Terminal Bar, Minneapolis, MN)

Posted in black metal, blackened death metal, concerts, death metal, local, terminal bar, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Behold Barbarity put together this show back in the spring, and Kommandant was supposed to play originally, but when Station 4 closed for the summer, there was no other venue with a stage big enough to reasonably hold seven people. Between that and Burning Bethlehem disbanding, the bill for this one shifted quite a bit before the final lineup was settled. Local black metallers Maledicere landed the headlining spot, which proved to be quite nice as it will be their last show for a while (Luke is moving to New York; best of luck to him).

House of Atreus started off the night with their brand of thrashy death metal. I really enjoyed them earlier in the spring, and they were really good this time as well. Along with original music they played Absurd and Slayer covers, and I found myself particularly impressed with Andy’s guitar solos (and Dan’s black metal shrieks. That was fun). The only downside was the sound; overall it was fine, but the vocals kept dropping out, taking the bass with them one time. That was not the band’s fault at all, of course, and it’s unfortunate that House of Atreus’ set was the one most plagued with sound problems.

[Audio on this is a little boomy. Sorry. You get the idea.]

Next up was Fin from Chicago, who I believe were the special guests of the evening. I had absolutely no idea who they were, but they played blackened melodic death metal, so I dug it. They also marked the beginning of the night’s stage decorations, with army helmets and other war themed props strewn across the stage. I always like watching two man black metal because it always impresses the shit out of me, and Fin was no exception. I was able to talk with their drummer briefly throughout the evening, and he was very nice and gracious, as well as very complimentary of the other bands (nice dudes rule. Seriously). Sacrificial Massacre joined them onstage to do guest vocals on one song as well, which was an unexpected treat.

[There were only two people playing at the show I saw- the guitarist on the right and the drummer.]

Sacrificial Massacre was next, upping the ante in terms of stage performance. They started their set with a sort of ritual, of which I got a picture that is complete crap (so I’m not going to post it. Seriously, you can’t see anything). The stage was bedecked with animal bones and skulls, the band members smeared with corpsepaint with red accents. Probably the coolest part of their set was the way they mixed Aztec themes with blistering black metal. It was neatly done and a very refreshing and innovative take on black metal, and with the exception of Maledicere, this was the set in which I banged my head the hardest.

Atrum Inritus was the fourth band of the evening, and provided a nice contrast right after Sacrificial Massacre. As is their wont, they brought out all the stops in terms of making the stage into a Satanic ritual chamber, complete with a giant crucifix (inverted, of course) that spent some time in the hands of the audience. Despite a small issue with a guitar strap, the set seemed to go flawlessly; whoever was in the sound booth was even paying attention, as I think this was the first set of the night to not have the vocals drop out at some point. I made sure to pick up one of their patches for the battle jacket.

Maledicere was incredible, as I knew they would be. They didn’t play There Are Wolves, but it was amazing to hear Hail the Black Faith on the eve of what is likely the last hurrah for this band for a great while. I was also glad to see Neil play with Maledicere again, as it was his last show with the band (if you haven’t checked out his blog yet over at Into the Void Records, you totally should. Neil is a badass.) The set, whether intentionally or not, had a bit of a celebratory feel to it; you could definitely feel that there was something special in the air, especially on the last couple of songs. And of course, the show is not complete without a few rotting sheep heads. These had snot dripping off them. I didn’t notice any sound issues at this point, and I’m glad. Maledicere is a really awesome band, and they deserve to have their final show before hiatus go really well.

This show was a great night; a long night, but a good one. I really liked the way that the bands complemented each other while all sounding completely different, and it was nice to see such camaraderie between the local bands and the visiting ones. Everyone played killer sets, despite the bad sound for the majority of the show, and it was absolutely lovely for me to get to hang out with so many friends in one place. Even though it will be sad to see Maledicere go for a while, the performance went off without a hitch in my opinion, and provided a great way to end an era.

Doomy review upcoming. And then I get to see False tomorrow, so that will come too. And more. And more. Because I have to go to all the things before school starts and I have to start being selective again. SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK.

Into the Void Records is Pretty Much Awesome (St. Paul, MN)

Posted in black metal, blackened death metal, death metal, doom, folk metal, grindcore, local, neo-folk, post-black metal, retro occult rock, thrash, true norwegian black metal, underground, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

There is nothing quite like a specialty metal record store. Into the Void opened its doors back in November 2012, although I didn’t know about it until January. Since then, it’s pretty much become my favorite store, and I need to be really careful about how much time (and money) I spend in there.

First of all, it’s in St. Paul, which is awesome because Minneapolis typically gets all the cool stuff. Into the Void’s location is also premier as it’s only a couple of blocks from Station 4. While Station 4 may not be the hippest music venue in the Cities (I have seen a lot of people complain about it on Facebook. Honestly, I thinks it’s a fun little place), they do land most of the big metal gigs that come through town. Three of the four shows I’m going to in the next couple of months are at Station 4. As a result, Into the Void’s location is pretty much perfect; you can go to the metal record store and to the show on the same night, in the same place. (There is also really good food over in that part of downtown St. Paul. Triple win.)

Although a friend of mine complained that the store itself is too sterile and fancy feeling, as someone who loves to organize things I appreciate the orderliness of it. They have a lot of stuff, but it’s very easily navigable and well-organized. Into the Void has CDs, records, and even cassette tapes, and a few metal DVDs. They also carry merch, like flags and patches (they just added several new patches, I saw the other day), hats, coffee mugs (who doesn’t want a Marduk coffee mug with a tank on it? Answer me that), and a ton of t-shirts in all sizes. Including smalls, for those of us on the smaller side!

Perhaps the best part of their selection, though, is the music that they are able to get in. They have some of the more obscure stuff from Europe that isn’t as easily accessible in the U.S., which is pretty much an amazing deal to me (alas, my underground French bands don’t distribute very well). The very first time I was in there I was ecstatic to find that they had Horna and Mütiilation CDs in stock, and several of them at that! And considering the stuff that they are able to get a hold of, the prices are incredibly reasonable, ranging from about $9.99-$15.99 a CD usually. $10 for Mütiilation. I know, right? Plus, the owner really encourages you to let him know if there is something you are looking for that they don’t have, and they will try to order it.

My haul from my first visit to Into the Void. You know you're jealous. My Mayhem Deathcrush patch came from there too.

My haul from my first visit to Into the Void. You know you’re jealous. My Mayhem Deathcrush patch came from there too.

Into the Void is also going to be fantastic for the local scene here, I think. They always have flyers out for local shows, and I have seen a few of our local bands’ albums in there as well. You can also buy your concert tickets here, which is something I need to start doing (internet ticket fees are profoundly irritating). There are also a few ‘zines available for sale, which is cool. I need to look a little closer at these next time I am in there to see where all they are from.

I also got my first and only Darkthrone album. Yes, I know. Shut up.

I also got my first and only Darkthrone album. Yes, I know. Shut up.

All and all, Into the Void is pretty much my favorite place right now. I love their selection, and they have some pretty good titles on vinyl that I can begin my collection with (I bought the special edition of Candlemass’ Nightfall the other day). Looking forward to spending a lot more time and money here. Next time you are in the Twin Cities, stop by and check it out.

Into the Void’s Facebook page is amazing and regularly updates their new arrivals. You can check it out here.

-Hagalaz